Important archive of theatrical performances and lectures by the Marquis de Montferrier.


Collection of 41 volumes: 35 volumes in-4 (280 x 220 mm) of plays, paperback or stapled, most with covers, and 6 volumes in-4 (270 x 210 mm) of lectures, sheets, stapled; some volumes disbound, covers damaged.

An important source on the private theater of Antoine-Abel du Vidal (1861-1937), fifth Marquis de Montferrier.
Rather worldly, and a member of numerous Parisian circles, the marquis was particularly active as a writer of private theater and lecturer, reserving his output for high society.
He confided to Léo Claretie in 1906 (1): "None of my plays has ever been printed. [...] Since then, I have had comedies [...], dramas [...], revues [...] and recently La Dame au masque, performed in salons, circles, charities, at one man's house, at another's and at my own. My performers have included amateurs such as Messrs Roger, de Bourboulon, de Salverte, Baron Despatys, Countess Chandon de Briailles, Count de Narbonne Lara, de Caillavet, etc., and professionals such as Misses Regier, Bertiny from the Théâtre Français, Mylo d'Arcyle, Suzanne Aumont, Tarride, Berthelier fils, Polin, Claudius, Philippon, Tréville, Zambelli, etc., etc."

This set comprises manuscripts, typescripts and carbon copies of some thirty plays composed by the Marquis. Many include handwritten corrections, reworking of texts, notes on staging, names of actors, etc. Some of the earliest include comments, advice and suggestions from another hand. Some of the earliest include comments, advice and suggestions addressed to the marquis by another hand.
Some volumes are blower's copies or actors' copies for a specific role.

Among this important collection we have noted, among others:

  • Two plots (La fugue and La reconnaissance d'Oscar), composed before 1894, are partly set on the Eiffel Tower.
  • Ballottage ou le dernier mot was broadcast from the Eiffel Tower radio station on January 2, 1932, and performed by radio pioneers George Delamare (1881-1975) and Paul Castan.
  • Refrains de saison was first performed at the Théâtre Femina on June 9, 1907. It was one of the first works to be performed at this theater on the Champs-Elysées, which opened in March 1907.
  • Politesse conjugale was performed as part of a lecture on politeness given by the marquis in 1927 at the Cercle de l'Union artistique for the Société des amateurs. It marked one of the first roles for Jacques Dumesnil (1903-1998), who starred opposite Paulette Fordyce.
  • The plays La Dinardite and Sincérité ou la femme d'un ami are set in Dinard, a mecca for social theater at the time, where the Marquis de Montferrier owned the Roc-Royal villa. André de Fouquières (1874-1959) played a role in La Dinardite.
  • Le Spirite presents a seance in the chateau of Viscount Félix de Sigean.

The 6 typescripts of lectures composed between the wars are testimonies of the war with political implications.

(1) Léo Claretie. Histoire des théâtres de société, 1906, pp. 270-271
Detailed parts list on request


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